Leeds Rhinos-linked centre backflips on Super League move to join New Zealand Warriors

Brayden Wiliame has backfliped on a move to Super League.

The former Catalans Dragons centre had been linked with a move to Leeds Rhinos and it was confirmed last week that he would be joining a Super League club for 2023.

However, Wiliame has now backed out of that proposed deal with a UK-based side, signing a two-year deal with the New Zealand Warriors.

The 29-year-old, who started his career at Parramatta Eels before making his name at Manly Sea Eagles, played for Catalans between 2017 and 2019.

In his time with the French outfit, Wiliame became a cult hero, scoring 35 tries in 77 games, as he helped the club win their first-ever piece of silverware by scoring in the 20-14 victory over Warrington in the 2018 Challenge Cup Final.

That form earned him a move back to the NRL with St George Illawarra, but he only played 17 games across two seasons before leaving to play Rugby Union back in France with Perpignan.

But after just one season in the 15-man code, Wiliame is back in league and has earned a contract with the Warriors for the next two years as he looks to get his career back on track.

The Warriors head of recruitment, pathways and development Andrew McFadden said in a club statement: “We’re thrilled to secure Brayden and look forward to the experience he’ll bring to the squad as well as the added versatility he offers the coaching group.”

Wiliame will now link up with the Warriors squad for pre-season ahead of their first game of the 2023 season against Newcastle Knights on Friday 3rd March in Wellington.

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